This will make a great gift for your foodie friend who doesn't need another kitchen gadget. I'm smitten with this well-edited little book of food stories. Each story is followed by a recipe (or two or three) that fills out the narrative. Julia Child's "The Sauce & the Fury" is brilliant and lively, and "Orange Crush," a tale of Tang and longing by Yiyun Li, is not to be missed. The latter half of the anthology gets serious, putting aside the humor and leaning towards melancholy, but the stories are effective and round out the theme of food and emotion.
Ann Patchett confronts her stubbornness in a heated argument she once had with her then-boyfriend, now husband, over dinner at the famed Paris restaurant Taillevent. Tom Perrotta explains how his long list of food aversions almost landed him in an East German prison. Gabrielle Hamilton finds that hiring a blind cook leads her into ethical terrain she wasn't prepared to navigate. And poet Billy Collins muses over his relationship with a fish he once ate Also included are stories by Chang-rae Lee, Patricia Marx, John Burnham Schwartz, George Saunders, Colson Whitehead, Kiran Desai, Pico Iyer, and Heidi Julavits, among others.